Batuan Village of Ancestral Spirits.
For over a thousand years Batuan has been a village of artists and craftsmen, old legends and mysterious tales. Batuan’s recorded history begins in A.D. 1022, with an inscription that is housed in the main village temple, Pura Desa Batuan. The name “Batuan” or “Baturan” mentioned here prompts villagers to joke about being “tough as stone” or “eating rocks” — as batu means “stone” in Balinese. But it likely refers to an ancient megalithic tradition in which standing stones served as meeting places and ceremonial sites for the worship of ancestral spirits. Because Batuan became a center from which Buddhist priests and brahmans spread to the main court centers of south Bali, the village has an unusual preponderance of brabmans. DeZoete and Spies, in their famous book Dance and Drama in Bali, describe it almost entirely a brahman village.
Besides the dances, performed in the central part of the village, Batuan is also famous for its wayang wong, masked performances of stories from the Ramayana. This is exclusively performed in the banjar (hamlet) known as Den Tiis. From Den Tiis also came the inspiration for the modern Batuan style of painting call The ‘Batuan style’
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